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Old 16th May 2010, 17:36   #1
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Default Trip to Kalpa-Chitkul-Sarahan in June 2010: help with itinerary

Hi everyone,

I would like to have some advice/suggestion on our upcoming trip to Himachal. We are planning to explore the Kinnaur district in the 2nd/3rd week of June. Here is our tentative plan.

There will be four of us: my wife, daughter, my mother and me. We will be driving from Delhi.

Rough itinerary that I have in mind is this:

Day 1 : Delhi-Narkanda (Hatu)
Day 2 : Narkanda-Kalpa (Kailash Cottage)
Day 3 : Kalpa-Ropa valley-Nako-Kalpa (Kailash Cottage)
Day 4 : Kalpa-Sangla-Chitkul (Pancholi Resort)
Day 5 : Chitkul (Pancholi Resort)
Day 6 : Chitkul-Sarahan (Srikhand)
Day 7 : Sarahan-Jalori pass-Narkanda (Hatu)
Day 8 : Narkanda/Naldehra-Delhi



Specific queries:

1. Is it feasible to do Kalpa-Ropa valley-Nako-Kalpa in a day in a reasonably relaxed manner? Or am I being too ambitious there? If this is likely to be too hectic, how much can we cover at a relaxed pace? The aim is more to explore those parts of Himachal in general rather than visit a particular place.

2. The same question on Day 7 (Sarahan-Jalori pass-Narkanda) - is it doable if the plan is to enjoy rather than set speed records? Or is it better instead to stay in Sarahan a little longer and come back straight to Narkanda?

3. How is the road between Sangla and Chitkul? Is it likely to be problem for a non SUV? How about roads in the Kalpa-Ropa valley-Nako part?

4. In Kalpa, we are planning to stay in Kailash Cottage, as Hotel Kinner Kailash seems more expensive. What are their differences, in terms of view, location, facilities? Is it worth paying extra and go for Kinner Kailash instead?


Any other suggestion is also most welcome.
In particular, we have decided to use HPTDC hotels, where ever there is one. But they tend to be a bit expensive. Any alternative that is at least as good as the HPTDC ones?

Thanks,

akp
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Old 16th May 2010, 18:01   #2
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Send a PM to Tanveer (tsk1979). He should solve all your questions.
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Old 16th May 2010, 19:45   #3
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Thanks ampere for your suggestion.
If he notices this thread, and has time and replies, well and good. But I would rather avoid burdening him with PM's unless absolutely necessary. As it is, he is a busy person (travelling/writing travelogues/moderating here and in other forums besides having his normal work). Also, having an open discussion in the forum has the advantage (over discussion through PMs) that others who come across the thread can also benefit.
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Old 17th May 2010, 18:01   #4
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Hi AKP,

I am doing the LEH, Lahaul, Spiti and Pin valley this Sep. Based on the various details and plans done, I can comment the following on your questions:

1. Kalpa - Nako is around 130 Kms one way, so 260 both ways should be doable in a day with proper halts and relaxed driving. In 2007, We had done Sangla - Nako - Kalpa in a Bolero. So I suppose, it is still ok. Make sure you leave Kalpa early morning (by 6AM) so that you have ample time in your hand.

2. Sarahan - Narkanda is around 108 Kms. So don't see any issues.

3. Sangla - Chitkul is around 28 Kms and absolutely no issues with non-SUV vehicles. What I remember from my last trip (2006) from Kalpa to Nako is that the roads were OK-ish and very very narrow. Drive safe and sound.

4. I can ask my dad this question and post later. He will surely remember since he did the planning last time around.

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Old 17th May 2010, 18:49   #5
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Thanks, Souvik.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Souvik View Post

2. Sarahan - Narkanda is around 108 Kms. So don't see any issues.
Actually I was planning to go to Jalori Pass and then come back to Narkanda, which increases the distance quite a bit. Anyway, Day 7 and Day 8 plans are now changed to
Sarahan-Jalori Pass-Aut-Rewalsar/Bilaspur
Rewalsar/Bilaspur-Delhi

Quote:
4. I can ask my dad this question and post later. He will surely remember since he did the planning last time around.

Souvik
That would be nice. Thanks again.
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Old 17th May 2010, 19:10   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akp View Post

Specific queries:

4. In Kalpa, we are planning to stay in Kailash Cottage, as Hotel Kinner Kailash seems more expensive. What are their differences, in terms of view, location, facilities? Is it worth paying extra and go for Kinner Kailash instead?
both are part of the same complex - view is same, cottages are newly built compared to kinner kailash.
The reason why cottages are cheaper is that you have to walk about 100 mtrs from the reception to the cottages - where as for the other part there is a aerobridge kind of a thing.

if you get a chance book the dbl bed room in the cottages, it is just fantastic and has the best views in that complex, not to mention you get a personal dining room with it.
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Old 17th May 2010, 19:49   #7
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Why climb up Jalori Jot and return the same way to Kinnaur V? Why don't you go on to Aut and return via Mandi?

Sangla-Chitkul is a good road, although there are a couple of places where there are landslides and river crossings. It is a road which any car can take without fuss.
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Old 17th May 2010, 20:03   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonirohit View Post
both are part of the same complex - view is same, cottages are newly built compared to kinner kailash.
The reason why cottages are cheaper is that you have to walk about 100 mtrs from the reception to the cottages - where as for the other part there is a aerobridge kind of a thing.

if you get a chance book the dbl bed room in the cottages, it is just fantastic and has the best views in that complex, not to mention you get a personal dining room with it.
Thanks, sonirohit. That is really useful information.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
Why climb up Jalori Jot and return the same way to Kinnaur V? Why don't you go on to Aut and return via Mandi?
Thanks, hvk.
This is exactly the suggestion anupmathur gave me too, and I am modifying Day 7 and Day 8 plans accordingly. Right now I am thinking of Rewalsar or Bilaspur as our Day 7 destination. Do you think Sarahan-Jalori Pass-Aut-Bilaspur would be ok for a day? If it is too long, we will stop at Rewalsar instead.
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Old 17th May 2010, 20:09   #9
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You can reach Bilaspur without too much of trouble. BIlaspur has a nice HPTDC hotel.
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Old 17th May 2010, 20:16   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
You can reach Bilaspur without too much of trouble. BIlaspur has a nice HPTDC hotel.
But Rewalsar is an amazing place...and the hotel lotus lake is awesome.
Also known as Tso Pema One of bestest places I have visited...nice and small and calming. And if you head upwards towards the caves and temple, you see many hidden lakes.

Can easily spend a day there if you reach early

Genesis - soumya.org: Tso Pema
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Old 17th May 2010, 20:29   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hvkumar View Post
You can reach Bilaspur without too much of trouble. BIlaspur has a nice HPTDC hotel.
Thanks. I had read about Bilaspur and the HPTDC hotel from your posts, which is why I put this as an option on Day7.

Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
But Rewalsar is an amazing place...and the hotel lotus lake is awesome.
Also known as Tso Pema One of bestest places I have visited...nice and small and calming. And if you head upwards towards the caves and temple, you see many hidden lakes.

Can easily spend a day there if you reach early

Genesis - soumya.org: Tso Pema
Thank you genesis. Any idea how is the HPTDC hotel in Rewalsar? Asking because it seems to be much cheaper than other HPTDC hotels.
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Old 18th May 2010, 09:00   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akp View Post
Thanks. I had read about Bilaspur and the HPTDC hotel from your posts, which is why I put this as an option on Day7.


Thank you genesis. Any idea how is the HPTDC hotel in Rewalsar? Asking because it seems to be much cheaper than other HPTDC hotels.
From what I read on indiamike, the HPTDC hotel there is not good. I did not even see it. The hotel Lotus Lake there is quite good and reasonable. It is right On the lake with large rooms. Have stayed there. Just make sure there is no tibetan festival at the time you are going, because then it will be full. The inhouse restaurant is good. Also in Rewalsar there there is a cafe/bistro there, run by a lady called Nyima who makes absolutely some of the best food I have had (crepes, glass noodles and other gourmet stuff at reasonable prices). She used to work at the Taj in Delhi and then moved back to take care of her dad. Let me know if you decide to stop in Rewalsar and I can give you more details.

Last edited by genesis : 18th May 2010 at 09:08.
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Old 18th May 2010, 09:18   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by genesis View Post
From what I read on indiamike, the HPTDC hotel there is not good. I did not even see it. The hotel Lotus Lake there is quite good and reasonable. It is right On the lake with large rooms. Have stayed there. Just make sure there is no tibetan festival at the time you are going, because then it will be full. The inhouse restaurant is good. Also in Rewalsar there there is a cafe/bistro there, run by a lady called Nyima who makes absolutely some of the best food I have had (crepes and other stuff). She used to work at the Taj in Delhi and then moved back to take care of her dad. Let me know if you decide to stop in Rewalsar and I can give you more details.
Thanks a lot, genesis.
Yes, I think we will stop at Rewalsar. I will try to find the contact numbers of Hotel Lotus Lake on the net/on Indiamike site. But in case you already have it, it would be nice if you could share it. Any other details would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
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Old 18th May 2010, 09:37   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akp View Post
Thanks a lot, genesis.
Yes, I think we will stop at Rewalsar. I will try to find the contact numbers of Hotel Lotus Lake on the net/on Indiamike site. But in case you already have it, it would be nice if you could share it. Any other details would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks again.
Hotel numbers: Should be one of the two numbers else Lonely Planet will definitely have it.

Hotel Lotus Lake, phone 01905-280 239
Hotel Lotus Lake Rewalsar,
Contact Number:01905-240239

Rooms were somewhere around 800 for a large room facing the lake but I may be off

Things to do:

Take a walk around the small lake. Feed the fish and the swans.
Go to visit at least one of the 3 monasteries surrounding the lake. Each has a different architecture and tradition. You can even attend and watch the evening ceremony/prayers.

Drive up the mountain to the cave of Padmasambhava, where there is a monastery inside the mountain walls. Quite unique.

If you continue driving up, you get glimpses of hidden lakes nestled in hills and then come to the naina devi mandir which too is quite nice. We sat and ate lunch at the temple kitchen and got a Re 1 coin gift from a lady who was distributing money after doing pooja there

As for Nyima's restaurant:

If you come out of hotel lotus lake and make a left, go till the end of the road where the road starts curving to the right to go to the other side of the lake . There is a small tourist agency and next to it is the bistro. (if the lake is oval, this is at the left tip of the oval). It used to have a small black chalk board outside. I cant remember the name other than some bistro. Look for where the white people are or ask for her by name!

Just saw a couple of posts hvk is doing in parallel and had to edit this post to comment:

If you notice HVK's directions in posts, precise point to point directions about crossings, highway intersections and petrol pumps.
If you notice my posts, precise point to point directions about Food Joints!

Last edited by genesis : 18th May 2010 at 09:46.
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Old 18th May 2010, 10:27   #15
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genesis, cann't thank you enough for all those details.
Our last day (Day 8) is a saturday, so that we have a day to relax after coming back. I am now toying with the possibility of staying back on Day 8 at Rewalsar and relax there instead. Let's see.
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